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Condenser fan not operating

Carlton on Tue April 29, 2008 8:19 AM User is offlineView users profile

Year: 1992
Make: Vauxhall Opel
Model: Carlton (Omega A)
Engine Size: 2600
Refrigerant Type: R134a
Ambient Temp: 20
Pressure Low: ?
Pressure High: 21bar
Country of Origin: United Kingdom

What a wonderful site which I used to visit and educate myself about the leaking R12 system in my UK Vauxhall Carlton. I have rebuilt it with a new compressor, pipes, accumulator, orrifice tube and o rings. The compressor is a Harrison V5 which is now an R134a converted model made by Harrison Daewoo.

Went to have it regassed and it started to work for 2 minutes, after which the engineer switched it off as he said it had a reading of 21bar. The fault simply seemed to be that the additional cooling fan was not operating and he suggested that it may be a faulty pressure switch. He advised to get another one, fit it and come back. It did seem to work and get cool during that 2 minutes.

However, I disconnected the pressure switch and bridged the terminals to check whether the fan was operating and it didn't seem to be. When pressure mounts in the system does the switch close or open or is it of variable output like a temp sensor?

There are three wires on the compressor. One looks as if it operates the clutch whereas the others do something else I presume. Are there any switches on the compressor that could be sticking or failing that will communicate to the fan to operate?

Excuse my ignorance but cleaning and replacing the system is one thing but knowing a bit more seems to be another.

bohica2xo on Tue April 29, 2008 9:42 AM User is offline

Without a wiring diagram for that vehicle available here in the US, it is just guesswork.

The "high pressure switch" may be the low pressure switch, you could have a blown fuse or bad relay, improper test procedure...

I would work backwards from the fan itself in this case. Does it turn by hand without binding? Will it run with power connected directly to it?

If the fan itself proves to be ok, trace the wiring to see if ther is a relay involved in the circuit that feeds it.

Again, a wiring diagram would be very helpful - was this vehicle sold in the US under a different name perhaps?


"Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the act of depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest."
~ Mahatma Gandhi, Gandhi, An Autobiography, M. K. Gandhi, page 446.

Carlton on Fri May 02, 2008 7:56 AM User is offlineView users profile

I'm in the process of trying to source a wiring diagram. Thanks so far

mk378 on Fri May 02, 2008 10:59 AM User is offline

Like bohica suggested, very often the problem is the fan motor itself. So check it first by unplugging from the harness and jumping power to it direct from the battery. If the motor is OK then you'll need a diagram to trace thru the rest of the circuit.

Carlton on Fri May 02, 2008 5:10 PM User is offlineView users profile

Had another play tonight. Removed the fan multiplug and tested voltage. There was no current at the time the fan should have been operating. Swapped relay for the one for the internal heater fan and no change to the heater fan and fan still didn't come on.

However, things have taken a sinister turn in that the compressor has a drip of fluorescent yellow oil coming from the bottom seal. Is there any chance that this may be just a 'running in' problem or am I going to have to get some new seals. Still very cold for the minute or so I dare have it on for with the condenser fan not operating. It has been regassed for a week.

There is a pressure switch between the condensor and the evaporator. Is this worth replacing? Is it likely that this will tell the fan to cut in when a given pressure is reached.

Edited: Tue May 06, 2008 at 7:27 AM by Carlton

Highjumper on Fri May 02, 2008 10:50 PM User is offline

Instead of showning a super big picture of the car why don't you do what the experts ask you to do like hook the fan up directly to the battery?

Carlton on Tue May 06, 2008 7:37 AM User is offlineView users profile

....because the fan is not accesible without removing the condensor and neither is the connecting harness and a voltage check on the fan feed revealed no current flowing thereby suggesting that there is a control issue rather than the fan itself. I thought that within the forum there may well be a model specific fault that someone may be aware of and a photograph may help identify which model it is.

Thanks for all your help so far. Bare in mind that we relatively little expertise in this country as in 1992 this model was only one of a handful of a/c cars available. Most of them have long been crushed and even finding a circuit diagram is tricky as dealers don't keep them anymore. My local tech specifically invited me not to bring it back if I had trouble.

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